The Great Egg Debate

Eggs, or no eggs:  that is the question.  Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of the autoimmune system, or to eat eggs against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them?  Yes, I know in my last post, I said I wasn’t ready to give up eggs on the autoimmune protocol.  I finally gave it a shot to see how everything works, but I have a feeling that will be one of the first things I add back into my diet, right after coffee.  I almost gave up the AIP completely when a stomach bug hit me this week.  I thought I was having stomach pains because of the diet, but then I realized that everyone around me was throwing up, so I stuck with it.  Really, I used to eat anything for breakfast:  cold pizza, leftover stew, whatever was in the fridge (back in my single days).  I don’t know why I was so dumbfounded as to what to eat for breakfast without eggs.

My standard breakfast now is kale sauteed with something (this morning I made crispy kale with bacon:  saute two slices bacon, chopped, in coconut oil until crispy and then add about 2 cups chopped kale and a pinch of sea salt.  Saute until the kale is crispy.  I like this texture in the morning:  kind of reminiscent of having toast with your breakfast) and then a side of some sort of meat (this morning it was a ground chicken burger).No Egg BreakfastAnd, you can’t forget my side of a crossword puzzle and a cryptoquip.

It’s only been a week since I’ve given up eggs, so the jury’s still out on this one.  I’m not seeing a huge difference in my body yet.  Although, this time of year I tend to have a lot of pain issues and I haven’t been nearly as bad as I usually am.  I’ve been sleeping pretty well, but I have to learn to go to be earlier.  I upped my coconut oil intake because I read that coconut oil can up your T4 levels in your thyroid, which, in turn, will raise your metabolism.  As a 45 year old (soon to be 46), I can appreciate a faster metabolism.  I’ve lost a total of 9 pounds in the last three weeks, which I’ll take:  it’s going in the right direction.

My digestion is still off so I’ve been supplementing with some digestive enzymes to see if that helps.  It’s all just a shot in the dark (no pun intended).  Right now, I’m trying to find the right balance between supplementing and eating what’s right and keeping away from what doesn’t work for me.  So, onward with my science experiment:  updates to follow.eggs

 

Posted in Autoimmune Protocol, Diet and Health, Paleo Diet | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blueberry Paleo Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce

I’ve been following the autoimmune protocol for the last 2 weeks.  I’m still winging this whole thing and just experimenting to see what works.  Last night, I was hungry through most of the night so I didn’t really sleep well.  I think I was too low on carbs for the day yesterday (I realized that the only carb type thing I had through the day was a banana at lunch).  So, yeah, my stomach was kind of screaming at me this morning.

Now,  here’s another disclaimer about the AIP:  everyone kind of has their own version of this.  I just read on one website the other day that you shouldn’t eat eggs on the AIP.  I didn’t read that in the other website I was reading.  It makes sense, in a way, because eggs can be highly reactive in the body if you’re sensitive to them.  And, if you’re trying to cut out anything that may cause any sort of reaction in your body, you’d want to cut out eggs as well.  Seriously, I just can’t cut out eggs.  What else am I going to eat?  Maybe I’ll get to the point if the AIP isn’t working for me that I’ll try cutting out eggs as well, but until then:  um, no thanks.

So, here’s my breakfast this morning:  I love the mixture of blueberry and lemon.  I was jonesing for some carbs, and this is what I came up with:

Blueberry Pancakes

Ingredients:

6 Large Eggs

2 Ripe Bananas

⅓ Cup Coconut Flour

¾ Cup Frozen Blueberries (I used wild blueberries because they’re smaller)

Zest from one lemon

 

Directions:

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the eggs and banana and blend until well mixed.  Add in the coconut flour and combine thoroughly.  Stir in the blueberries and lemon zest.  Drop by 1/3 cup full onto hot griddle and cook until the sides are dry and there are a few bubbles in the pancakes.  Flip over and cook on the other side until golden brown.  Makes about 8 pancakes.

Blueberry Sauce:

In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of blueberries with 2 teaspoons maple syrup.  Heat until the sauce becomes syrupy.  Serve warm over pancakes.

 

Hope you enjoy them!  Blessings.

Posted in Autoimmune Protocol, Diet and Health, Paleo Diet | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

German Sweet Potato Salad – Autoimmune Protocol Friendly

It seems like every time I try another way to tackle my health, I have to relearn things about cooking.  Granted, cooking under the autoimmune protocol is not a lot different from paleo, but finding spices and condiments that work are far and few between.  Now, according to everything I’ve read, on the AIP, you should avoid any seeds and nuts, and that includes any spices that come from seeds.  Really?  ugh!  That eliminates more than half of my spice cabinet.  Hallelujah for turmeric, though!  I love curry, but that has seed spices in the mix, so that’s out.  Turmeric is a great flavor cousin, though (yes, I know that turmeric is in curry powder) and it’s completely acceptable for the AIP.  AND, it’s great for inflammation (yet another ‘you had me at hello’ moment).  The only problem with it is that everything I have is turning yellow, from my counter tops to my fingernails.  I love it, though.  Anyway, being grilling season and all, I’ve been looking for great grilling ideas.  This memorial day, we were grilling ribs, and really:  what’s a good grilled rib without barbecue sauce and spice rub?  Alas, no barbecue sauce or spice rub on the AIP.  So, I reduced some balsamic (a really good one, which is hard to find) until it was syrupy and then I brushed it on the ribs with some salt.  I really enjoyed the flavor.  It gave a nice caramelization to the ribs that make ribs ribs.  I tried some on the chicken and it was kind of so-so.  The balsamic taste didn’t come through.  So, my daughter and I wanted some sort of salad to stray from our regular routine of steamed veggies, so I thought I’d take a crack at a German potato salad.  After all, how can you go wrong with sweet potatoes AND bacon?  The trick was to recreate that vinegary and mustardy taste that makes German potato salad so lovely.  The mixture of the vinegar with the maple syrup and turmeric really did the trick.  It gave it that earthy mustardy taste.

Now a disclaimer:  some won’t touch any sort of sweetener at all on the AIP, but I did read that 1 teaspoon a day of honey or maple syrup were acceptable on the AIP, so I threw some in to cut the vinegar bite a bit.  If you have completely eliminated any sweetener, you can take it out, but I wouldn’t suggest it if you can tolerate sweeteners.  I don’t eat sweeteners, so adding a bit to an entire dish isn’t going to throw me off (I don’t think), plus the fiber in the sweet potatoes off-sets the carbs in the syrup and your body will metabolize it better.

My daughter said she could eat a whole bunch of this, and she did.  It could probably easily feed 4-5 people, unless you’re really hungry.  We got about 3 servings out of it.  So, here’s the recipe:

German Sweet Potato Salad

Ingredients:

4 Sweet potatoes, chopped and cooked in salted water and drained

1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil

6 Slices Uncured Bacon, chopped

1 Large Sweet Onion, chopped

¼ Cup Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Tsp. Maple Syrup

2 Tsp. Turmeric

Sea Salt, to taste

 

Directions:

In a large heated skillet, over medium high heat, cook the bacon in coconut oil until browned and crispy.  Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.  When onion is cooked, add in the remaining ingredients and stir to remove any bits from the bottom of the pan.  Mix together the cooked sweet potatoes and the bacon mixture in a mixing bowl, gently, so as not to smush the potatoes too much.  Serve warm.

 

Hope you enjoy it.  Blessings!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Autoimmune Protocol, Diet and Health, Paleo Diet | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Autoimmune Protocol – Lemon and Kale Chicken Soup

I’ve been on the paleo diet for over a year.  I think I was hoping for BIG changes in my health.  Admittedly, I’ve made some strides in the past year.  The biggest stride I made was in my immune system.  The last couple of times I got a cold, it only lasted a couple of days and it didn’t knock me completely out.  Most of the time, over the last few years, when I’d get sick, I would get realllllllly sick:  and I would usually end up on antibiotics by the end of it because I would have some sort of infection.  Also, cuts seem to be healing quickly without any sort of antibiotic cream.  So, I guess, there are some changes internally that are being made.  Also, the down time – the times when everything hurts and I feel like I can barely crawl out of bed – has been becoming few and far between.  I was hoping for more drastic changes, though.  I was hoping I would be sleeping better on a regular basis, and maybe have my hormones working a little more consistently.  I was hoping to feel a little more normal.  It also seemed like, no matter what I did, I couldn’t lose weight.    If I lived in a perfect world, my doctor would be willing to work on it with me and he would be well versed in adrenal fatigue or leaky gut, but we don’t live in a perfect world.  And, any naturopaths in this area all are part of a spa of some sort, so they cost thousandS of dollars just for an initial consult.  So, I’ve been an exercise in self-research and self-diagnosing.  Anyway, after a year of the paleo diet, I feel like I’m on the right track, but I need to find out more about how my body reacts to foods, so this week I embarked on the paleo autoimmune protocol, which is basically cutting out anything that could potentially cause inflammation.  Here is a website that has a couple of print-outs on what foods to avoid and what foods to include:  http://autoimmune-paleo.com/paleo-autoimmune-protocol-print-out-guides/  The one thing I have read most about this is that you’re either all in or all out.  There’s not cheating on it.  Really, it’s not a whole lot different than what I’ve been doing already.  The biggest thing for me, though, was that I did cut out nuts.  That’s a hard one, though, because I was making a lot of things with almond flour and almond milk.  And, I completely cut out the nightshades.  I like an occasional tomato sauce, but that’s gone for the next 8 weeks.  All in all, I feel better this week:  the aches and pains are disappearing; I’m more energetic; and, the biggest thing of all is that I lost 5 pounds this week.  I haven’t lost an ounce over the past year and I lost 5 pounds this week.  Today’s lunch was a lovely lemon and kale chicken soup.  It was extremely easy to make and quick to put together (of course, I always have homemade chicken and beef stock on hand).  Without further ado, here’s the recipe:

Lemon and Kale Chicken Soup_edited-1

Ingredients:

¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Large Onion, chopped

2 Quarts Chicken Broth

Juice of 2 Lemons

Cooked Chicken, from one whole roasted chicken

4 Cups Chopped Kale

½ Tsp. Ground Ginger

Salt, to taste

 

Directions:

In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil.  Add the chopped onions and cook until translucent, about 7 minutes.  Add the chicken broth and heat.  With an immersion blender, process the onions until the broth looks creamy (or add the broth and onion mixture to a blender and mix thoroughly).  Add the lemon juice and chicken.  Add salt, to taste, and ginger.  Cook until chicken is heated through.  Add in chopped kale and cooked until wilted.

 

Hope you enjoy it!  Blessings!

 

 

 

Posted in Autoimmune Protocol, Diet and Health, Paleo Diet | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Paleo ‘Rye’ Bread

Okay, I’m going to get this out in the open:  corned beef and cabbage is overrated.  Sorry.  Not that I’m put off by boiled dinners.  I love pot roast with mushrooms.  I don’t know.  Something about cabbage being boiled until it’s almost unrecognizable doesn’t do anything for me.  That being said, I do like corned beef.  I haven’t gone as far as making my own, yet.  That’s next.  But, my family’s favorite thing for St. Patty’s Day is corned beef reubens.   yum.  Being a good paleo girl, of course, I had to figure out to get the rye sort of flavor so we could do our traditional reuben sandwiches.  I do admit also, that I used an organic Swiss cheese.  Since this was a special occasion, I splurged.  I haven’t been eating dairy, so I’ll let you know how that little experiment worked.  But, it was worth it.  I’ve been into fermenting lately, so I used the lacto fermented sauerkraut on the sandwiches.  mmmm  Anyway, I really liked the bread.  It held up really well to being grilled.  It has a slightly chewy taste, which I like for a sandwich bread. And, I loved the taste of the caraway in it.  Without further ado, here’s the recipe:

Paleo 'Rye' Bread

Paleo ‘Rye’ Bread

 

Ingredients:

1 Cup Raw Cashew Butter

4 Large Eggs, separated

1 Tsp. Honey

2 Tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

½ Cup Almond Milk

¼ Cup Coconut Flour

¼ Cup Almond Flour

¼ Cup Tapioca Flour

1 Tbsp. Ground Flax Seed

1 Tbsp. Toasted Caraway Seed

1 ½ Tsp. Baking Soda

½ Tsp. Sea Salt

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375⁰.  Grease a glass bread pan.  Cut a piece of parchment paper and line the bread pan with parchment.  Grease the parchment.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cashew butter, egg yolks, honey, vinegar, and almond milk.  Beat until well combined and smooth.

In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the coconut flour, almond flour, tapioca flour, flax seed, caraway seed, baking soda and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat for about 2 minutes until well combined.  Fold the egg whites into the batter until no white is seen.    Pour mixture into prepared bread pan.  Bake in preheated oven for about 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out completely clean (the toothpick should easily slide in and out and not drag at all.  If it drags, the bread needs to bake more, even if the toothpick is clean.  If it’s undercooked the bread will fall and be dense.)  Remove from oven when done and remove from pan.  Allow to cool on rack before slicing.  Makes one loaf.

 

Hope you enjoy it.  Blessings!

Posted in Diet and Health, Paleo Diet | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ethiopian Spicy and Sweet Meatballs

When I lived in Rochester, there was this Ethiopian restaurant I used to go to.  A salesperson that I dealt with used to bring me there a lot and I loved it.  One of my co-workers used to tease me and ask (okay, for any of you who are very sensitive to p.c. issues, please skip this next quote), “What?  Do they stand there with a machine gun and a glass of water and force you to drink?”  No, not really, but you do sit on the floor.  Anyway, I really liked the injera (the flat bread) and the spicy stews were just amazing.  Well, that was before the internet so looking up Ethiopian recipes was kind of not possible.  I guess if I lived in a larger city and had access to a huge bookstore, I could have bought a cookbook on Ethiopian cooking, but that didn’t happen.  Alas!  Fast forward 20 years and something reminded me of that Ethiopian restaurant and so, like any foodie, I googled Ethiopian recipes and found the recipe for injera (who knew it was so easy to make) and for doro wat (a spicy chicken leg stew-ish recipe).  I made that last week.  Oh, my:  my house smelled amazing.  Even my pickiest eater tore into the chicken like, well, like he was coming off of an Ethiopian famine (sorry, very un-p.c. but I couldn’t resist.  I know, Ethiopia is not nearly as ravished by famine as it was 20 years ago).  So, doro wat is made with a spice mixture called berbere and the recipe didn’t use the entire amount of the berbere mix, so I wanted to make something with it.  I happened to have some ground chicken and ground lamb in the fridge and thought of meatballs in a berbere spiced sauce.  This is another winner.  My family loved this one too.  It’s just slightly spicy and very aromatic.  It’s great comfort food.  Now, don’t let the list of ingredients scare you off.  You can make a lot of it ahead of time and it’s actually quite simple to make.  I had mine on mashed cauliflower, but the rest of my family had theirs on rice.  Without further ado, here’s the recipe:

Ethiopian Spicy and Sweet Meatballs

Ethiopian Spicy and Sweet Meatballs

 

Ingredients:

Berbere Spice Mixture:

2 Tbsp. Piment d’Espelette (or substitute chili powder)

2 Tbsp. Paprika

2 Tbsp. Sea Salt

2 Tsp. Ground Cumin

1 Tsp. Ground Fenugreek

1 Tsp. Ground Coriander

1 Tsp. Ground Ginger

½ Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

¼ Tsp. Ground Nutmeg

Pinch Ground Clove

Pinch Ground Cinnamon

Pinch Ground Allspice

4 Cloves Garlic

1 Small Onion, chopped

½ Cup Water

4 Tbsp. Olive Oil

 

Niter Kibbeh (spiced clarified butter):

1 lb. Grass Fed Butter

½ Onion, chopped

2 Cloves Garlic, smashed

1 Tsp. Minced Fresh Ginger

½ Tsp. Turmeric

4 Cardamom Pods, smashed

½ Tsp. Cinnamon

½ Tsp. Dried Basil

2 Whole Cloves

¼ Tsp. Freshly Ground Nutmeg

¼ Tsp. Ground Fenugreek

 

Meatballs:

2 lbs. Ground Chicken

1 lb. Ground Lamb

2 Tbsp. Niter Kibbeh

1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil

½ Onion, chopped

1 Tsp. Minced Ginger

1 Cup Almond Flour

3 Eggs

1 ½ Tsp. Sea Salt

½ Tsp. Ground Fenugreek

 

Sauce:

1 C. Chicken Stock

2 C. Beef Stock

½ C. Berbere

2 Tbsp. Tapoica Flour

2 Tbsp. Honey

2 Hard Boiled Eggs per person

 

Directions:

Niter Kibbeh:  (This can be prepared the day before.)  In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add all ingredients and lower heat to the lowest setting and let simmer for about 40 minutes.  When the solids in the butter have turned a golden brown, remove from heat and strain mixture through cheesecloth.  Discard solids and let cool.

Berbere:  (This also can be prepared the day before.)  In a dry pan, toast all of the spices until fragrant.  Place the onion and garlic in a food processor with ½ cup of water and process until smooth.  Add in spices, salt, and oil and mix thoroughly.  Pour mixture into a small saucepan and simmer over medium high heat for about 10 minutes until thickened.  Store any leftovers in an air-tight container with a thin film of oil on top.

Meatballs:  Preheat oven to 375⁰.  Oil two cookie sheets.  In a small sauté pan, melt the niter kibbeh and coconut oil.  Add in the onion and ginger and saute until the onions are slightly golden.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the all of the ingredients together until well mixed.  With a small ice cream scoop, scoop meat mixture onto prepared cookie sheets.  Bake in preheated oven for about 18 minutes, until no longer pink on the inside.

Sauce:  In a large braising pan or skillet, combine the stocks, berbere, tapioca flour, and honey.  Whisk together thoroughly and bring to a simmer.  When meatballs are done, add to sauce.

To Serve:  Serve on hot rice or riced cauliflower with quartered hard boiled eggs.  Serves about 8 people.

 

Hope you enjoy it!  Blessings….

Posted in Diet and Health, Paleo Diet | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Paleo Pitas

I make this Greek chicken a lot:  marinated in olive oil, lemon, garlic, and basil.  It’s one of my family’s favorite ways to eat chicken.  Of course, it’s better on the grill, but seeing as though my grill is still buried under about 4 feet of snow, that was out of the question for the night.  But, I broiled the chicken at least, which will do in a pinch.  I made pitas for my husband and boys and decided to give paleo pitas a try.  I really like them.  They turned out slightly chewy, like a regular pita would be.  I made them small to eat with the Greek chicken salad, but I suppose they could be made bigger to use them as a sandwich bread.  It was a nice taste of summer in this never-ending winter.  Here’s the recipe:

Paleo Pitas

Paleo Pitas

 

Ingredients:

¼ Cup Almond Flour

¼ Cup Coconut Flour

¼ Cup Arrowroot Flour

½ Tsp. Baking Powder

¼ Tsp. Baking Soda

½ Tsp. Sea Salt

1 Egg

5 Tbsp. Almond Milk

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425⁰.  Mix all ingredients together in a food processor and process for about a minutes, until well combined.  Using a scoop or a measuring cup, scoop mixture onto prepared baking sheet (I used a small ice cream scoop because we were having them with Greek salad, but you could use a larger scoop or a measuring cup if you’re looking to use it for a sandwich).  Bake in preheated oven for about 12 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom and dry on the top.

 

Hope you enjoy them.  Blessings….

Posted in Diet and Health, Paleo Diet | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments